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Novel writers everywhere prepare for annual challenge

Writers everywhere are gearing up for NaNoWriMoNational Novel Writing Month. The annual event encourages participants to complete a 50,000-word novel from scratch in November's 30 days. That's an average of over 1,600 words (or 6 pages) a day.

The challenge is no easy task. Only about 15% of last year's participants reached the 50k goal line. And what do they win for their trouble? Their very own novel and a sense of satisfaction, of course.

That may not sound like much, but thousands of budding authors who have put off writing a substantial story have found incredible inspiration from NaNoWriMo. And since author Chris Baty (a University of Chicago graduate) started the program in 1999, over two dozen participants have gone on to publish their November projects.

But just because the event is a one-person challenge, that doesn't mean you have to go through it alone. There are dozens of writers here in Chicago that are willing to cheer you on or cry in frustration with you.

ChiWriMo provides online forums, live chat sessions, and upcoming social events in the city. Suburban authors may want to check out NaperWriMo (Naperville).

Open Books, a nonprofit bookstore and literacy community center, will be hosting four write-in sessions along with a 15-hour grand finale write-fest on November 30.

StoryStudio Chicago offers 12-hour writing marathons where visitors can have access to wireless Internet, snacks, beverages, feedback, and even exercise breaks.

So put on another pot of coffee and sharpen those pencils; it's going to be a long month.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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